Obama's envoy for closing Gitmo prison reassigned

Ambassador Daniel Fried will coordinate sanctions for the State Department, and no one is replacing him to try to persuade countries to resettle Guantanamo inmates.

WASHINGTON — The State Department has reassigned its special envoy for closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in another step away from one of President Barack Obama's first campaign promises.

Ambassador Daniel Fried is starting this week as the department's sanctions coordinator. He'll focus on governments like Iran and Syria.

No one is replacing Fried as lead diplomat to persuade countries to resettle Guantanamo inmates approved for release.

Fried assumed the post shortly after Obama first took office and promised to close the much-maligned prison within a year.

But Republican-led bills have cut off funding to move detainees to the U.S. or to foreign countries.

Obama's administration still hopes to close Guantanamo. But officials say congressional restrictions have left diplomatic efforts severely hampered.

There are 166 inmates left at the prison.

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